Skip to comments.An Insomniac's Recap of the Elections
Posted on 11/03/2010 3:34:12 AM PDT by grey_whiskers
This is a brief analysis of the 2010 Election, through the eyes of someone with a bad head cold.
The powers that be, the Establishment types, the RINOS, and the MSM are eager to spin this election as a "refudiation" of both the Tea Party and of its erstwhile goddess / figurehead, Sarah Palin. They are doing this from what appear to be mixed motives; they would say that they want the GOP to win, but only if the prospect does not require them to vote for any of the great unwashed. (T. Coddington VanderVoorhes VII comes to mind, thanks to Iowahawk.)
And so the lesson which they are taking care to imprint on our collective minds, while impressions are fluid, and in order that it becomes the accepted wisdom on which way to go in the future, is that "Tea Partiers are all well and good, but they can't deliver."
So far, at the national level, the GOP picked up at least 60 seats in the house -- larger than Gingrich's famed 1994 campaign on the back of the Congressional check-kiting scandal publicized by Rush Limbaugh; and 6 or 7 seats in the Senate.
So far, if one just looks at the raw numbers, one would consider this a monumental achievement. That is, unless expectations have been carefully guided to view these results as a failure. "Why, Obama still is in the Presidency, and Pelosi is still in the House, Reid is likely to keep his Senate seat ('wouldn't it be better, for the good of the party, and for comity's sake and bipartisanship, for Angle to concede gracefully rather than put up a doomed fight which will turn the voters against us?'); we have not run the table on the Senate as the Democrats did to us in 2008, despite the most auspicious of circumstances; and we could have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling Tea-
Is this really true?
Let's look again at the races, and about recent history. We can look at the performances of the Establishment Republicans (say, in recent elections), and drill down a bit on this election.
In past elections, (say 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008) we had the following:
2002 -- a year after the 9-11 attacks, and Americans want security, dammit! The GOP gains 8 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate.
2004 -- Presidential Election; the first one after the "Sore Loserman" debacle in Florida in 2000, and the first one after 9-11.
The GOP picks up 3 seats in the House, the Donks lose 2.
The GOP picks up 4 Senate seats, the Donks lose 4.
Bush wins 31 states, but a mere 286 electoral votes, with a bare 50.7% of the popular vote.
2006 -- the Midterm elections for Bush's second term.
The Dems pick up the House, gaining 31 seats, while the GOP loses 30.
The Dems get the Senate, too, winning 6 seats.
This despite the presence of "The Architect" Karl Rove who brags about his detailed knowledge of the ground game.
But (as we will see) he learned his lesson, after a fashion.
2008 -- the annointing of Teh One.
Obama wins 365 electoral votes in 28 states + a single Congressional district in Nebraska. (Nebraska??!!)
The Donks extend their lead in the House, gaining 21 seats.
And in the Senate, they run the table, gaining 8 seats.
The election is marked by numerous unchallenged shenanigans, including voter fraud (voting by felons, votes found in car trunks) in Minnesota, and infamous re-counts in Washington State.
The only thing preventing a total rout is Sarah Palin, who is roundly condemned by the establishment, but targeted by the Dems, after being trashed by advisors lent by the Rockefeller wing of the GOP (as detailed later in Going Rogue).
So, let's look at the record of the Establishment GOP since the first election of George W. Bush (where the victory was so narrow that the Dems complained he was "selected, not elected." (And that, over Clinton's hand-picked successor.)
House: +8 +3 -30 -21 net --> -40
Senate: +2 +4 -6 -8 net --> -8
Heckuva job, Karl.
Compare that to the Tea Parties:
And before you whine, "Hey, no fair! Everyone hates Obama!"
...no, they didn't. Not two years ago. The Donks were so confident, they were still guaranteeing to keep the House as recently as this summer.
And if you think it's a one-time event, what about what 9-11 did for Dubya's reputation?
With the historical record cleared up, let's look a bit at the current election.
Most of the fuss about the Tea Party being losers is based on just a few races:
Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.
Joe Miller in Alaska.
Sharron Angle in Nevada.
What do these races have in common?
Besides the smears of the Establishment?
1) The establishment candidate was very powerful, with a lot of favors to call in from the rest of the old guard.
Delaware has long been a deep blue state, and is the current VP's HOME state.
Murkowski is a RINO par excellence and has deep ties to the Alaska old boys network.
Harry Reid? He's just the current Senate MAJORITY leader.
2) They are all from small, close-knit states, where everyone knows everyone else. This makes it much harder to be a maverick and go against the grain.
3) In all cases, the Establishment GOP did not exert their full efforts to back the Tea Party candidate.
Put these together, and the results are obvious.
By way of comparison, look at the following:
Tea Party Candidates in larger states.
Establishment-backed GOP candidates in larger states.
What the Tea Party candidates did against other Establishment DEMS when they didn't get cross-fire from the GOP.
Tea Partiers did fine in other states, such as Kentucky (Rand Paul) and Florida (Marco Rubio). What about West Virginia, you ask? Well, their opponent ran as a Republican, including a viral YouTube film of him shooting (with a real gun) holes in a Dem bill. Not much of a contrast there. And Colorado? Again, the Tea Partier had to fight a two-front war.(*)
Now look at the Establishment GOP candidates. Hmm, Carly Fiorina against Barbara Boxer. Neck and neck. The race for Obama's old Senate Seat. Neck and neck too.
And tremendous support from the official GOP hierarchy.
But -- there's another important feature in this election, which the Tea Party pulled off.
When they weren't opposed by the GOP power structure, they were able to knock off a large number of powerful incumbents, in both the House and the Senate.
Russ Feingold in WI is no more. Dingell is gone in Michigan; Skelton is out; Oberstar is gone in MN.
And the statehouses -- Michigan is turning red; Wisconsin is too; and Texas is one vote shy of being able to do Constitutional amendments without reaching across the aisle.
But all Karl Rove and the Establishment RINO wing of the GOP are doing is complaining about O'Donnell and the Tea Partiers and how they cost the GOP the Senate.
The idea that Castle would have given us a majority (given the likely final results in the Senate) can be put succinctly as follows:
"If we had some bacon, we could have bacon and eggs, if we had any eggs."
For you see...
The GOP is going to get "ONLY" 7 or 8 votes in the Senate, anyway.
So Castle over O'Donnell (and then over Coons, which exit polls dispute) would just have given us another squishy vote to reach across the aisle and give the Dems cover.
And Karl's lesson?
He learned it while advising Bush to clam up in response to the "Bush lied, people died" baldface LIE (as revealed by Wikileaks, there *were* WMD in Iraq).
If you allow the other side to control the narrative and spin, you lose.
Even if you have to lie to control the spin.
Karl has apparently decided to "do unto others" and throw the Tea Party under the bus, in the midst of a great victory.
But why SHOULD we trust him? Look at his record. It's just as much a myth as Obama's persona.
Time to look forward to, and to plan for, continued success in 2012.
And this time, without the RINOs!
(*) It should be noted that there seems to be an increasing number of races in which a "libertarian" candidate is included, who superficially imitates a conservative: but who actually does little but drain off votes from the real conservative. I wonder if the Dems learned this by watching how Ross Perot helped Clinton get elected. Remember the ads for Wesley Clark for President which appeared (briefly) aginst Bush?
Suitable for litterboxes, birdcages, and kleenex.
*PING* to be added to or dropped from the list.
This is a great analysis. This belongs in the FReeper Hall of Fame.
Nice post. I will celebrate taking the House.
Now that we’ve identified our second opponent, i.e. the Establishment Republicans, we can further tighten our aim next time. Could you add me to your ping list?
I truly feel bad for you man, I got that as a kid where it felt like an ice pick on the eardrum every time my heart would beat. Thank the Lord for decongestants.
I use menthol afrin for such things.
Also a good ENT can give you some good stuff.
Excellent analysis. Sarah has no problem taking on the PTB (Powers that Be) and she’s taken plenty of heat for it. But we know what she’s done, and thank her.
IMHO, Sarah and Beck are the leaders of this landslide. And the proof is in the flak they take.
John Dingell (D-MI)*
Sorry but he hung on.
Ach, sorry about the plugged tube, Grey Whiskers. Had that happen a couple times when I was little and it is no fun at all (not that you need me to tell you that, of course).
As for the analysis...great job! I think you really nailed it.
Sorry, just saw off one of my antlers for inaccuracy then.
I can't find what happened between Lollar and Hoyer -- have you heard?
I’ve been up all night..so I haven’t the energy..LOL
I will check but I think Hoyer hung on, too.
Second, while we should not blame "Tea Party" candidates too much, neither should we pretend that many (O'Donnell, Miller, Angle) didn't have serious flaws as candidates. This is not something you can't overcome, but it is something that typically the PARTY helps you overcome, and if you're going to run against the Dem AND the Republican, well, you have to be just about perfect, as Rubio was.
Third, some of the winners, let's face it, were NOT "Tea Party" backed candidates. Portman in OH, a great guy and someone who will be a good senator, did not have exceptional support from the Tea Party; neither did DeWine for SoS, who appears to be winning. Neither did Kasich, who had a lot of conservative opposition but won anyway.
The message of this election is, if anything, that CONSERVATISM tended to do pretty well. Rubio, Toomey, Paul, Johnson, Portman---they are ALL orders of magnitude to the right of the person they replaced, Dem or Republican. That cannot be overstated. Pretty much across the board we ran conservative candidates. So we can't pretend that conservatism always wins, but we do know that when you combine conservatism with a really good candidate, DING DING DING you have a winner!!
House districts are usually more homogeneous, allowing the candidate to focus more. I think in a lot of the senate races, the inexperience (yes, there's that word) of the Tea Party candidates probably hurt them. Like it or not, there is a certain amount of polish---learning how to avoid gaffes, for example---that comes with holding office a couple of times. We saw it with Toomey, who won in a blue state. Portman made NO serious errors in OH. On the other side, you had Linda McMahon, who ran a closer race than anyone thought in a deep blue state, but who nevertheless had that WWF baggage.
Now, if our side wants to crush the Dems in 2012, it must not only nominate conservative candidates, but GOOD conservatives with some experience. And it helps if the damn party elites get on board with the candidates.
Did you notice that (in general) the races which garnered the most laser-like, focused, media interest, actually *became* over time the most personal, and focused on the candidate, instead of nationalized?
In fact, ---
in those races, the Alinskyite technique of pick your target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it was actually allowed to work.
Because in those races -- the GOP allowed the Dems and the MSM to do that to their candidate, instead of the GOP candidate forcing the press to do it to Obama.
And doing that to Obama is how we need to win a landslide in 2012.
Steny Hoyer (D-MD5)*
Charles Lollar (R-MD5)
Make yourself a bowl of soup, chicken noodle is best, and load it up with black pepper. Lots and lots black pepper. Or, tomato soup loaded with a heavy dose of Tabasco; several table spoons. Trust me, your sinus will open, drain and your ear with open too. Sip a little milk to cool your tongue.
Hope you feel better soon.
(BTW, I was 19 before I learned one didn’t have to be sick to eat chicken noodle soup. It was my momma’s homemade penicillin.)
Yes, the state houses look even better this morning. (Update: Dingell ended up pulling out a narrow victory in Michigan, still leaving him as the longest serving Democrat in the House.)
I told the GOP two years ago they ALL needed to read Alinsky. I tell every Tea Party group they need to read Alinsky.
The powers that be, the Establishment types, the RINOS, and the MSM are eager to spin this election as a "refudiation" of both the Tea Party and of its erstwhile goddess / figurehead, Sarah Palin. They are doing this from what appear to be mixed motives; they would say that they want the GOP to win, but only if the prospect does not require them to vote for any of the great unwashed... And so the lesson which they are taking care to imprint on our collective minds, while impressions are fluid, and in order that it becomes the accepted wisdom on which way to go in the future, is that "Tea Partiers are all well and good, but they can't deliver." So far, at the national level, the GOP picked up at least 60 seats in the house -- larger than Gingrich's famed 1994 campaign on the back of the Congressional check-kiting scandal publicized by Rush Limbaugh; and 6 or 7 seats in the Senate. So far, if one just looks at the raw numbers, one would consider this a monumental achievement. That is, unless expectations have been carefully guided to view these results as a failure.
Snow -- thanks for your continual updates thru last night... I was with you until about 3:30ET, then I realized that pain I felt was my head nodding off onto my monitor. LOL.... swore I wasn't going to put myself through it again, but... ah, well...
Feel better and get some rest - great post!
Good discussion. Have you tried inhaling a *really* hot curry?
I’m sorry O’Donnell and Angle didn’t win, but I don’t believe the alternative Republican candidates would have won, either. We get enough of those GOP squishes in NC: “Vote for me! I’m a lot like the Democrat, really I am!”
Thanks for your analysis grey_whiskers. I read it before any other postings on FR this morning, and it heartened me. I was sad about Alaska, Nevada and Delaware, and pissed off at Rove - permanently (what an ass he is) - but your piece gave me some ammunition to face a lib friend of mine who is going to throw it in my face this morning that we lost those states. Even so, WE WON BACK THE HOUSE - and contrary to what Rove says, who has apparently declared war on the Tea Parties - WE THE PEOPLE did it - the frigging Republican Party had NOTHING to do with it. So they can spin it all they want. We need to stay FOCUSED and concentrate our efforts on 2012 and cleaning out the rest of the Marxists and rinos. ONWARD AND UPWARD!!!
P.S. I hope you get over your cold quickly!
Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear grey_whiskers!
Gret_Whiskers, I love your analysis AND I urge you to drink a LOT of hot broth with pepper and/or hot sauce, bury yourself under the covers, and sweat. This may work.
Take care of your innards, my whiskery friend.
Yes, on the money.
And, as I have said on other threads, Rove is toast. He has a reputation as a brilliant political handler, but in point of fact he screwed up the 2006 election, he stuffed Arnold into California after conservatives recalled Gray Davis. He backed Arlen Specter and Rick Chaffee. He pretended to take charge of the liaison with Evangelical conservatives, and then kicked them in the teeth and lost millions of votes for the party.
Rove will continue to have backing from the media, including Fox News. But people should clearly understand that he is a man of no principles and a political loser.
We knew this was going to happen. The Tea Party won, but the regulars will try to suborn them, buy them off, and keep them in line. They cannot be allowed to succeed, as they have grown so used to doing.
Sorry. I meant to say that Rove backed LINCOLN Chaffee, and cost Rick Santorum his seat in the Senate.
I would credit Sarah Palin at least 75% for Tuesday's spanking of the Ass party including the Head!!
Yesterday I feel/think that Rush was washing Karl "Architect" Rowe's mouth with Lysol, and rightfully so, LOL!!!
Sarah Palin and the TEA Party voters won about 700 Republican seats in the US House, US Senate, state legislatures, and governorships, and probably a thousand or two more seats in county and municipal races in the 2010 midterm elections, making 2010 the biggest election win for Republicans in 80 years, and the greatest conservative win in the history of the USA.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.